The Angel Oak Tree // Charleston, South Carolina // Destination Wedding Photographer Brooke Townsend

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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

- Robert Frost -

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While visiting Charleston, I got to sneak off and pay a visit to the Angel Oak Tree which has been a dream of mine for about 10 years.

I’ve always had a deep appreciation for trees. And of course nature in general too. But to see this particular oak tree has been on my bucket list for a while. Because I’ve never seen an oak this big before! And to just think about how much this thing has seen and survived over the years is so mind boggling. I mean… it’s survived dozens of hurricanes, wars, disease… and is even (at least) twice the age of this country. Which… just blows my mind. Imagine if we could access the things this tree has seen over the hundreds of years it has been alive.

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The tree is estimated to be about 400-500 years old. Though, some believe it’s even older than that. It stands 66.5 ft tall, measures 28 ft in circumference, and produces shade that covers 17,200 square feet. The longest branch measures in at 187 ft and the branches coming off the trunk look like trunks of other trees. This tree is such a life force because walking around and climbing through it’s twisted branches, so many other living things are using this tree as a home. And it almost felt like Hometree from Avatar.

We got there just before the park opened to go and see it. And a storm had just passed through and that hot Carolina summer sun started streaking through the leaves and branches causing the raindrops to evaporate giving me the most magical light to play with in that forest.

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Pro Trip: If you want to go visit the tree, go early to beat the crowds. You can’t go any earlier than opening time at 9am since it does have a huge military style fence around the park. But going there right at open had the least amount of people making this actually possible to photograph :)

Published in The Knot Ohio Magazine // Brooke Townsend Photography // Cincinnati Wedding Photographer

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Well you guys, I’m SO DANG EXCITED to share with you that I’ve been officially featured in the Knot Ohio Magazine! This is my first official magazine publication and I’m feeling beyoooooond grateful for such serious recognition. The amazing couple featured is Sarah + Haithem from last summer whose wedding was at the Urban Artifact! The Knot found my blog post about them and asked to feature it in their fall issue and I said… YES OF COURSE! If you want to see their wedding blog post, see it here!

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Thank you so much to The Knot for reaching out and having me be apart of this. And thank you to each and every one of you for all your continued support, love, and encouragement! I wouldn't be anywhere close to here without each and every one of you helping support me and my little business adventures!

The "Pieces of Me" Project turns 1 year old

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In May of 2017, I wanted to start the daunting task of a 52 weeks project. I was a newer mother then trying to navigate through it all while also trying to figure out and remember who I was underneath it all. It’s no secret by now that I went through some of the worst forms of PPD that lasted nearly a year after my son was born. It ripped away all my self esteem. Self love. Self confidence. And rattled my world even though being Leo’s mother was the greatest gift I’ve ever experienced! But, I talk more about my actual PPD experience and what caused mine here if you’re more curious.

I looked at myself in the mirror one day in May of 2017 and didn’t even recognize myself. I was still really overweight with extra baby weight, and then some. I didn’t have any personal time. Our financial situation was harder than ever before. And I was still fresh into full time self employment with a weight on me I didn’t know how to handle yet. That’s when I just broke down and lost it right there on the bathroom floor next to the toliet.

I realized in that moment I needed to do something for myself. Because every other aspect of my life was doing something for someone else. And although I love making the people in my life as happy as can be, taking care of ourselves needs to also be a priority. How can we take care of others if our own self is falling apart at the seams?

I decided to work on a personal project where I could dissect myself into pieces. And use photography to create photos that showcased those pieces. And each week there was a different theme surrounding a different piece of myself in which could be made as a reminder to myself of everything that I am and ever have been. But also giving myself the permission to create every week. Making a space to be free to do anything and everything. To explore. Or stay home and make something out of nothing. To challenge myself and give my mind something to do outside of the despair it constantly racked around with. And so, not only was the Pieces of Me 52 weeks project born, but it was almost easy for me to keep up with it even through my busiest times because it was healing me. And giving me a path back to who I want to be.

See The Full Project Here

Since most everyone has probably seen the project photos by now. And the link to the project is right above. I wanted to share something that didn’t get shared anywhere last year which was my behind the scenes video diary compilation I made of everything I took during the project’s duration. Not only was this project transformative, eye opening, and freeing, but it ultimately ended up documenting the entire past year in such a unique way. And, you can see that below in the very crappy video I threw together <3